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Anthony Ray Hinton Spent Almost 30 Years on Death Row. Now He Has a Message for White America.

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Anthony Ray Hinton was mowing the lawn at his mother's house in 1985 when Alabama police came to arrest him for 2 murders he did not commit. One took place when he was working the night shift at a Birmingham warehouse. Yet the state won a death sentence, based on 2 bullets it falsely claimed matched a gun found at his mother's home. In his powerful new memoir, "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row," Hinton describes how racism and a system stacked against the poor were the driving forces behind his conviction. He also writes about the unique and unexpected bonds that can form on death row, and in particular about his relationship with Henry Hays, a former Klansman sentenced to death for a notorious lynching in 1981. Hays died in the electric chair in 1997 - 1 of 54 people executed in Alabama while Hinton was on death row.
After almost 30 years, Hinton was finally exonerated in 2015, thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI. On April 27…

Saudi executes own citizen in Jeddah; 53rd execution in January

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public beheading in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
January 25, 2016: The Saudi Ministry of Interior said in a statement that a capital sentence against a murderer was carried out in Jeddah governorate, Makkah region as a punishment for killing a Saudi man after a quarrel between them.

The statement said that Mohammed bin Awadh bin Ahmed Al-Zahrani - a Saudi national - had stabbed by a knife Ryadh bin Saeed bin Taher Al-Zahrani - a Saudi citizen - several times to death.

Security authorities managed to arrest the above mentioned murderer who pleaded guilty; the General Court convicted him of his crime and the sentence was endorsed by the concerned authorities.

The murderer was executed in Jeddah governorate of Makkah region today after the sentence was endorsed by the Appeal and Supreme Courts and sealed by a royal order.

The execution of Al-Zahrani brought the total number of executions in Saudi Arabia this month to 53, AFP reported. 

Sources: SPA, Agence France-Presse, Hands Off Cain, January 25, 2016


‘Married’ gay couples arrested in Saudi raid

Men were on honeymoon when flat was raided by religious police

Manama: Saudi security authorities have arrested four gay men in the capital Riyadh after they raided the flat where they were living as married couples.

Acting on tips about the men living together after they held wedding parties attended by other homosexuals, members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the religious police, headed to the flat in Al Quds neighbourhood, Saudi news site Sabq reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to the Commission.

“As the religious police members arrived at the flat, they were spotted by two of the gays who tried to get rid of the fake breasts they were wearing”, the sources said. “The Commission members arrested and then detained the other two gays inside the flat. The four admitted they were living as ‘married couples’. The first couple said that they got married two days earlier at a recreational facility south of Riyadh and that they were still on their honeymoon. The second couple said they celebrated their marriage last week. The four said they used the flat as their residence.”

According to the report, three of the detainees were unmarried and one, 28, was married.

The sources added that the Commission found on the mobiles of the detainees several pictures and clips of the wedding parties and of the guests wearing women’s clothes and make-up.

Homosexuality and cross-dressing are socially taboo and legal offences in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Reactions from social media users to the raids mostly touched on the need to mete out tough punishment to those found to be involved so that it would act as a strong deterrent. Some users even suggested that those who took part in the party be secluded for five years in remote areas.

In June, authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested several people in Jeddah following raids on two parties in which most participants were homosexuals.

The raids were conducted simultaneously at dawn in the Harzat area, known for its recreational facilities.

Security staff and members of the Commission noted down the numbers on the licence plates of the cars parked near the party venues before they raided the premises. The vehicle details were recorded in order to ensure that those who managed to escape the raid would be tracked down and arrested.

“The raids led to the arrest of several people, mainly gays, and netted locally produced alcoholic drinks and hashish,” sources said. “Those who were arrested were referred to a police station while those who fled the premises will be summoned since they were all identified.”

In November 2014, a court in the port city of Dammam in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province sentenced a homosexual man to three years in jail for engaging in “immoral acts.” The man, in his 30s, was also ordered by the court to pay a 100,000 Saudi riyal fine.

The man was apprehended by the Commission after he posted pictures of himself naked on social media and offered to have sex with other men. “Offensive” pictures and chats with other people were found on his confiscated mobile phone.

In October 2014, police in Kuwait arrested 23 cross-dressers and homosexuals after they busted a “wild party” held at a chalet in the south of the country.

Lawmakers have been pushing for a crackdown on homosexuality, including the adoption of tougher immigration measures against expatriate homosexuals, including their prompt deportation.

In 2013, a suggestion by a health official to bar homosexual and transgender foreigners from working in the GCC raised a storm that eventually cooled off after officials clarified that the proposal was the personal view of the official and did not reflect the government policy.

Source: Gulf News, January 28, 2016

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